Monday 22nd November 2010

The Noodle Box - Hot Pepper Box

This little noodle bar is next door to the Brew Ha cafe on Rokeby Road. It was a generous portion for $9.90 but I couldn't eat it all because there was too much sauce and it was getting really sickly sweet. Not as spicy as I would have liked. However, they did give me lots of slices of beef and chicken.

At home, Mum was in the kitchen and she was really pleased with herself. She insisted I try one of these fish that she had fried.

I tend to shy away from fried fish. I prefer steamed fish. But Mum was so insistant, she wouldn't leave me alone until I tried one.


It was a mouthful of textural pleasure!!

Looking down at what I had bitten into, I saw to my amazement that the fish was stuffed full of roe! These fish are called capelin and they're similar to herring and sardines. I could not stop at one. I love roe. I love the little bubbles that bounce around between your teeth when you chew. These would be awesome with a cold beer, which is what I did.

During our trip to Phuket earlier this year in March, I came across this gorgeous dish at one of the local markets we found when we were scootering around.

I have since learnt that it is Haw Mok, which is a steamed red curry with fish or a combination of seafood. It is to die for!! I was a bit worried when I saw the coconut milk because I didn't want to have an upset stomach while out on the road on the scooter! But I risked it and it was worth every last mouthful. It was so creamy, aromatic, tasty and the seafood was cooked to perfection! The curry is steamed in a basket of banana leaves.

I have been wanting to try to recreate this dish and tonight I finally attempted it. After a bit of googling for recipes, I pretty much knew what I had to do. I didn't have all the fresh ingredients available so I had to find jar substitutes from the pantry.

I diced up some barramundi.

In a bowl I combined red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves,
Thai basil paste, coconut milk, chilli, lime juice and two eggs.

Stir through the diced fish.

Layer some banana leaves in a steaming bowl and pour in the mixture.

Cover with more banana leaves and secure with toothpicks and steam until cooked.

Oooh I salivated as the aromas grew stronger.

Not quite as good as the authentic version served up to me in the markets! I will have to attempt it again and use a combination of seafood. I bought this dish in Phuket for 25 Thai Baht. Today, that's equivalent to about 85 Australian cents! 85 CENTS!

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